Overwhelming evidence that indoor airborne transmission associated with relatively small, micron-scale aerosol droplets plays a dominant role in the spread of #coronavirus, especially for so-called “superspreading events”

“There is now overwhelming evidence that indoor airborne transmission associated with relatively small, micron-scale aerosol droplets plays a dominant role in the spread of COVID-19, especially for so-called “superspreading events”, which invariably occur indoors.”

For example, at the 2.5-h-long Skagit Valley Chorale choir practice that took place in Washington State on March 10, some 53 of 61 attendees were infected, presumably not all of them within 6 ft of the initially infected individual. Similarly, when 23 of 68 passengers were infected on a 2-h bus journey in Ningbo, China, their seated locations were uncorrelated with distance to the index case. Airborne transmission was also implicated in the COVID-19 outbreak between residents of a Korean high-rise building whose apartments were linked via air ducts.

Studies have also confirmed the presence of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virions in respiratory aerosols suspended in air samples collected at distances as large as 16 ft from infected patients in a hospital room. Further evidence for the dominance of indoor airborne transmission has come from an analysis of 7,324 early cases outside the Hubei Province, in 320 cities across mainland China. The authors found that all clusters of three or more cases occurred indoors, 80% arising inside apartment homes and 34% potentially involving public transportation; only a single transmission was recorded outdoors. Finally, the fact that face mask directives have been more effective than either lockdowns or social distancing in controlling the spread of COVID-19 is consistent with indoor airborne transmission as the primary driver of the global pandemic.

PNAS: A guideline to limit indoor airborne transmission of COVID-19

 

 

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Ireland: Shops most commonly visited places listed by people later infected with #coronavirus

The first comprehensive study of community transmission of Covid-19 in Ireland has identified shops as the most likely source of infection.  Of the 3,476 positive cases since then, 787 (22 per cent) were as a result of community transmission, where the source of infection is not known.  More than 60 per cent of these community transmission cases were recorded in Dublin.  Of those who did not know the source of their infection, 55.8 per cent mentioned shops as the most likely place they would have picked up the disease in the previous seven days.

This was followed by workplaces (15.6 per cent), primary schools (3.8 per cent), public transport or car sharing (3.5 per cent), travel at home or abroad (2 per cent), outdoor gatherings (1.9 per cent), pre-school gatherings (1.8 per cent) and outdoor sports activities (1.7 per cent).

Irishtimes.com report

 

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EU: ECHR throws fuel on the #coronavirus vaccination fire – backs mandatory jabs for kids

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday that democratic governments can make vaccinations obligatory, in a landmark judgement rejecting complaints brought by Czech families penalised for refusing compulsory jabs for their children.

“The… measures could be regarded as being ‘necessary in a democratic society'” the court ruled, saying that the Czech health policy was consistent with the “best interests” of children.

Our opinion: ** Is there an easier or quicker way of antagonising parents in the middle of a global viral pandemic than encouraging mandatory vaccinations? We can’t think of one. Expect severe blowback **

MedicalExpress.com report

 

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Children now playing ‘huge role’ in spread of #coronavirus variant B.1.1.7

Dr. Michael Osterholm is the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “Please understand, this B.1.1.7 variant is a brand new ball game,” Osterholm said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “It infects kids very readily. Unlike previous strains of the virus, we didn’t see children under 8th grade get infected often or they were not frequently very ill, they didn’t transmit to the rest of the community. Anywhere you look where you see this emerging, you see that kids are playing a huge role in the transmission of this,” Osterholm said. “All the things that we had planned for about kids in schools with this virus are really no longer applicable. We’ve got to take a whole new look at this issue.”

ABC7Chicago.com report

 

 

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UK: 122,000 NHS personnel and 114,000 teachers have Long Covid

At least 122,000 NHS personnel have Long Covid, the Office for National Statistics disclosed in a detailed report that showed 1.1 million people in the UK were affected by the condition. That is more than any other occupational group and ahead of teachers, of whom 114,000 have it.

Guardian report

 

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Classrooms evacuated as school installs CO2 alarms to warn of #coronavirus buildup

Pupils have twice been evacuated from classrooms at a New Forest, England, school after air monitors indicated the potential for a build-up of coronavirus.

Instruments have been installed at Ashley Junior School in all teaching spaces to measure the density of carbon dioxide being breathed out in a room by pupils and staff.

Once it hits a certain scale, a warning alerts teachers that fresh air is required as the atmosphere has become too stale and may contain unsafe amounts of coronavirus from potentially infected people.

AdvertiserandTimes.co.uk report

 

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Pediatric household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 #coronavirus infection

This study suggests that younger children are more likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to older children, and the highest odds of transmission was observed for children aged 0-3 years. Differential infectivity of pediatric age groups has implications for infection prevention controls within households, as well as schools/childcare, to minimize risk of household secondary transmission.

Medrxiv preprint

 

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Belgium: More than half of students suffered anxiety or depression during #coronavirus crisis

More than half of students suffered from anxiety and/or depression during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, with one in ten suffering so badly they were unable to take care of their own basic needs.

Of the sample, fully 50% reported problems of anxiety, while depression was experienced by 55%. Even the freshest of freshers will have started their time in higher education in the autumn of 2019, when the coronavirus was not even a cloud on the horizon, and so all will have had some experience of student life before the curtain came down, and brought an end to what should have been a fun and almost care-free period in a young person’s life.

As it turns out, students more advanced into their academic career suffered more than their juniors.

Brussels Times report

 

 

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Italy: #coronavirus lockdown extended for another month but schools REOPEN in red zones

Italy in lockdown for another month

Until April 30th no region or province can return to the yellow zone . There will be only red or orange areas

Kindergartens, elementary and middle school open also in the red zone after Easter.

The ban on movement between regions also extended. It will be possible to cross borders only for “proven needs”- reasons of work, health and urgency,

Bars and restaurants will remain closed – with only take-out and home delivery allowed

The new cases recorded yesterday in Italy were 23,839 with 380 deaths.

IlGiorno.it report

 

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France: full #coronavirus lockdown with school closures demanded by scientists and medics

194 new deaths and nearly 43,000 new cases reported today, Contamination and the number of patients in intensive care remain at high levels, confirming the arrival of a third epidemic wave announced by Olivier Véran.

Researchers plead for a month of strict containment. The prospect of a strict and generalized reconfinement resurfaces due to the hospital tension. Researchers and doctors plead for long-term measures.

Mircea Sofonea, lecturer in epidemiology at the University of Montpellier (Hérault), is on the same line. “According to my models, it would be necessary to confine strictly, as in March 2020, at least for six weeks, judges this specialist. This deadline would make it possible to find an incidence rate below 5,000 new cases per actual day, the threshold set by Emmanuel Macron in November to accept deconfinement. We would also arrive at less than 2000 patients in intensive care and a less active circulation of the virus. It all depends on the health objectives set, in particular at the level of hospital occupation. Currently, Covid-19 patients are being cared for at the expense of deprogrammed patients. We will then have to catch up. ”

Le Parisien report

 

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In seven days, the number of #coronavirus cases has doubled in Brittany schools

The figures provided this Friday by the rectorate of the Rennes academy are skyrocketing: 108 classes closed in Brittany, twice as many as seven days previously. “A significant increase,” notes the institution. There are at least five schools with closed doors: in Lamballe-Armor, Saint-Brieuc, Lignol, Vannes, Plouvara. And even a college: the Sainte-Thérèse establishment in Rennes . Covid-19 is spreading in the region, and schools are not sealed off. In the space of a week, the number of students diagnosed positive increased by 50%, that of staff members tripled. Reported to 100,000 people, there are 130 schoolchildren affected. And 320 staff, twice the incidence rate in the region.

Le Telegramme report

 

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7,398 schoolchildren, college and high school students in Ile-de-France affected by the #coronavirus last week

7,398 schoolchildren, college and high school students in Ile-de-France affected by the coronavirus last week. The number has suddenly jumped this month. Between March 4 and 25, the number of affected students increased by 440%, from 3,045 to 7,398. Between March 11 and 25, this represents an increase of 142%. Never has the number of cases among Ile-de-France students been so high since the start of the September school year.

Francebleu.fr report

 

Update 1: Closure of classes as soon as a first positive case of Covid-19 appears

The French Minister of National Education presented this Friday March 26 the new rules that will apply from Monday in schools in the 19 reconfigured departments. The main measure is the closure of classes as soon as a first positive case of Covid-19 appears.

Francebleu.fr report

 

Update 2: Sharp increase in the number of cases among those under 15yrs.

The upsurge in the number of positive cases of Covid-19 among those under 15 increased sharply last week according to figures released by Public Health France (SPF) on Friday. In the population as a whole, the incidence – that is to say the proportion of new cases detected – increased by 17%, to 313 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, well above the maximum alert threshold set by the government (250). But it is among 0-14 year olds that the incidence increased the most from March 15 to 21, with an increase of 31% compared to the previous week , to 230 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the epidemiological point published on Friday by the health agency.

Francebleu.fr report

 

 

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60% increase in #coronavirus infections in French schools in one week

The number of Covid-19 contaminations explodes among the children: they were 15,484 infected on March 19, against 9,221 the previous week, an increase partly attributable to the increase in saliva tests, which reached 250,000 tests carried out on Friday evening.

The cases of Covid-19 are also progressing among the staff, where there are 1,809 cases as of March 19, against 1,106 ten days ago.

Le Monde report

 

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#Coronavirus transmission in team sports under investigation in Summit, N.J

According to information released by Summit City, NJ, a significant number of transmissions statewide and locally this week were reported as sports-related and, specifically, during game play, Samples are being tested for variant strains, when possible, to better determine how the virus is spread during team sports.

Unusual transmission patterns have also been reported in Summit schools, such as in the classroom or on a playing field with no defined or known exposure. For example, there was a recent case in Summit where a member of a team tested positive and, subsequently, a member of the opposing team contracted the virus. This transmission dynamic had not been previously seen.

Full Tapinto.net report

 

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